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October 31, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

Happy Halloween everyone! Yes I was dressed in a Yoshi costume on my video blog, and yes I'm going trick or treating with Mario and Luigi after we're done here.Rory, Sergio, Bo Van Pelt, Ken Duke, and Yani Tseng all win last week. Biggest?

JT (Baltimore)

Give us some names to watch out for next season from the graduating class from the Nationwide Tour??

Michael Collins
  (3:03 PM)

Danny Lee, Steve Wheatcroft, Matt Every, and Kyle Thompson... with Chopra, and Mallinger to keep an eye on too

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Happy Halloween!! What is the Hottest PGA Tour Even that you have been to?

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

PGA Tour, San Antonio one year the bank thermometer said 117 leaving the golf course at 6 pm. Nationwide tour in Missouri was the hottest I've been and the only time I came close to heat stroke. My player told me to go sit under a tree half way down the fairway and he played the hole on his own. It was dangerous and stupid of me to continue but... I'm not known for smarts

Keith (NYC)

Michael,How much do Caddies for amatuers make approximately?Thank you.

Michael Collins
  (3:09 PM)

If you're asking about when they play in a PGA Tour event it's usually around a thousand for the week. Maybe a little more because the caddie doesn't get an opportunity to make a commission. That's why most am's bring friends or family members

Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)

I was stationed in San Antonio for a while, and can vouch it's awful.

Michael Collins
  (3:10 PM)

I love the city, and I love the heat, but walking La Cantera was the 3rd worst on tour.

Franky (NY)

Do you really type with your index fingers?

Michael Collins
  (3:11 PM)

all three of them ;) no but it's a combo of about 6 or seven. I don't know how to type properly

Shoshana (Boston)

Hey where were you last week. Skipping out on us already? I guess the honeymoon is over already

Michael Collins
  (3:12 PM)

hey!!! don't be like that!! I was at our annual golf summit meeting in Bristol at company hq, planning on what we're gonna do for all y'all fans this next year. And I'm here now right? You miss me that bad?!

Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)

Does Sergio carry the momentum into next season and finally win a major?

Michael Collins
  (3:13 PM)

I should ask all of you that question... I don't know that Sergio will EVER win a major but I see him winning a couple times next year. Not majors though

Chris (GA)

Whats the best club to join in the Atlanta area. excluding East Lake and AAC as you need to be recommened by members?

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

That's a question best asked of Stewart Cink who still lives in the area. Hit him on twitter, he'll answer!

Nick (Ohio)

Any juicy behind the scenes info on Rory leaving Chubby?

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

yes but if I tell you then it wouldn't be "behind the scenes" would it?!

Mikey (NY)

Can PGA players use GPS devices?

Michael Collins
  (3:15 PM)

practice rounds yes, but during the tournament, no gps or lasers allowed

Ed (Long Island)

Do caddies work with their pro's during off weeks and off season or just at tournaments?

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

nowadays a lot of us play words with friends or hanging with friends, some guys sleep, a bunch are on the computer or doing face time with family members.

Shoshana (Boston)

Sergio, Yani, Duke, BVP, Rory sorry Rory's win is pretty much the equivalent of Chevron to me (maybe a little lower), nice as a confidence boost, but a silly season event (BVP's isn't any higher but at least there were more people)

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

The only win that really mattered was Ken Duke because it got him his tour card for next year. And then Sergio's cause he's never won back to back in his career

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

sorry Ed I answered the wrong question... 50% do because they live in or near their pro

JT (Baltimore)

give us some of the best activities to pass the time during a rain delay in the caddy trailer??? what seem to be most popular?

Michael Collins
  (3:19 PM)

I answered that one by accident earlier

Ed (Long Island)

Are the TV ratings great in China for these golf tournaments? Otherwise how do the cover the appearance fees and purses?

Michael Collins
  (3:21 PM)

did you see any of McIlroy on tv winning $2 million? Me either. Ever pick up the Forbes 500 list and there's like 300 people you've never heard of or seen before... that's where the money comes from, at least that's what I believe

Sam (Md)

What are the guys doing now that the season is over. I guess exluding the Pres Cup guys.. Is it just tropical islands and private jets...throw in a few rounds here or there?

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

If only... this is the time of year when guys can do their corporate outing obligations and can have pro-ams for their charities. But there are a few who will "shut it down" for six weeks and just chill with the family.

Andy (Vestal NY)

what ever happened to Ty Tryon?

Michael Collins
  (3:26 PM)

he played in 9 Nationwide Tour events this year only made one cut and finished 29th. i think he's in q-school again, he'd have to start at first stage.

Ed (Long Island)

For the Nationwide guys that just earned their cards - are they guaranteed a minimum number of tournaments that they can enter?

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

the guy who finished 1st on the money list is in the best position, he never re-shuffles and he in the Players, after that the winner of q-school is next and then they flip between until after the west coast swing, that's the first re-shuffle

Jeffrey (NY)

How much do caddies actually help the pros they work for? What makes a good caddy or a bad one? What kind of helpful information would a caddy have that a pro wouldn't? Thanks!

Michael Collins
  (3:29 PM)

Webb Simpson would not be #9 in the world without Paul Tesori. What a caddie does is allow the golfer to only worry about his swing, we take care of all the other information so they can focus on job one, get the ball in the hole

Poppie (NY)

Are all caddies "good" at playing golf?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

NO!!! Most caddies are terrible golfers (double digit hcps). There's a big difference between being a good player and being a good caddie

Shoshana (Boston)

Favorite event of the year for caddie's?

Michael Collins
  (3:33 PM)

Charlotte... valet parking, gourmet food, three parties, free yardage books, a nice bathroom (that's a big deal for caddies), and most of all respect, they want us there and treat us as such.

mark (nj)

how to sponsorship deals work? do they get paid a flat fee for wearing gear. Or do they get bonuses for winning or being on camera more than others?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

I don't know about being on camera, but most guys have incentives built in, money earned, wins, majors, etc. that's why it pays to have a good agent.

Ed (Long Island)

How much actual golf do the caddies get in during the season? Are they offered the chance to play at the host course each week?

Michael Collins
  (3:36 PM)

Caddies never get to play the course the tournament is being played on the week of the event, but occasionally if we're in the area we can play, usually if our player makes a quick call. During the year most caddies average less than once a month because nowadays it's too expensive to travel with your clubs

JT (Baltimore)

who is the best golfer among the caddies?? give us some guys that can play and their handicaps.

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

Damon Green (Zach Johnson's caddie) just made it thru 1st stage of Champions Tour qualifying. Heath Slocum's caddie DJ has got game also. Fluff can get it around too (he's a member at Congressional) There are maybe 15-20 caddies that are less than 4 hcps. Can't give exact numbers cause it might mess up some gambling that NEVER HAPPENS ON THE COURSE!! ;)

Wayne (Ottawa, ON)

Who do you predict will do best in next year's majors?a) Lukeb) Roryc) toss-up, too close to calld) somebody else.

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

Rory is about to explode, but don't be surprised if Fowler gets in contention and wins a major this year too.

Tom (VA)

Free yardage books??? they dont give you those???

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

No, most yardage books cost between $25 and $35. Mark Long makes the best books and he also makes Green Contour books which run about $30 each too, but if that means your making cuts and finishing well, it's worth the investment. We also save the yardage books and pin sheets from year to year so we don't need a new book every week.

Ed (Long Island)

Who would your rather caddie for...Natalie Gulbis or Phil Mickelson? I like Phil but Natalie would be my call!!!

Michael Collins
  (3:42 PM)

Phil, he's gonna make me more money, then I can take Natalie out somewhere nice for dinner!

Ed (Long Island)

Are the clubs dramatically different for the pro's than the "off the rack" clubs us hacks play with even if the same brand?

Michael Collins
  (3:44 PM)

yes because there are shafts and heads that will never be available to the public. That's why even putter headcovers like Scotty Cameron run over $500 on EBay, cause you can't buy them in stores. It's also why all the manufactures have people watching EBay to make sure their "tour" stuff doesn't end up there

Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)

Are most caddies members of courses the Tour visits? For instance, I know Fluff is a member at Congressional.

Michael Collins
  (3:45 PM)

No, it's rare

Brian (Chandler, AZ)

How does a player actually find a caddie to work fo rhim?

Michael Collins
  (3:46 PM)

Used to be in the parking lot, now it's thru email or a call from an agent. Almost like a feeler first. Most guys don't make a switch unless they have someone in place already. It's why the Tiger Stevie split was big news inside the ropes too.

Brian (Chandler, AZ)

Who pays the caddie's travel expenses (air, hotel, meals)? Does he pay his own, or the player, or someone else? $1000 a week or so doesn't go very far if the caddie has to pay that himself...

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

Caddie pays his own way. That's why it's so important to work for a guy who plays well. If you have a family to support, caddying may not be for you. now some guys fly their caddie on the private jet with them on accassion but it doesn't happen as often as you may think.

Ed (Long Island)

Are you better at reading greens or giving club selections?

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

I'm very good at reading greens, club selection takes time with a player but after two competitive rounds with a guys, I'm pretty confident

Shoshana (Boston)

The Tiger - Stevie split still feels like a high school girl cat fight. I'm unhappy so I'm cheating on you with Adam, I can't believe you cheated on me, you're fired

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

Don't think because there aren't soap operas on tv anymore that there isn't that kind of drama on tour. There is.

Tom (VA)

who are some guys that dont get along on tour? i know there are a few that are public but cant remember. Refresh my memory becuase i know you wouldnt call anyone out

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

who would you pay to see fight in the parking lot?

Doug (GA)

To Chris in GA, as a former club pro in the ATL, there are lots of good clubs to join. Without knowing what part you're in, it depends on your game; if you're a single digit handicapper, I'd recommend Atlanta National or Ansley- Settindown Creek (Alpharetta/Johns Creek area). Both are full of low handicappers. If you have a higher hdcp, I'd say Berkeley Hills or Pinetree in Kennesaw.

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

Thanks Doug!!

Scott (Boston, MA)

Is there anything in the rules to prevent a player from having the caddie film him and then watch his swings in slow motion between holes?

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

yes, that is not allowed

Ed (Long Island)

Do caddies have to give their pro's bed checks to make sure they aren't hitting the town to hard the night before playing? Did you ever have to pull a Tin Cup and wake your player up late to get to the tee box on time?

Michael Collins
  (3:53 PM)

no, we're all adults. Yes I did have to wake a guy up one time but it was just because he overslept

Chady (NY)

So how would someone get started being a caddy?

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

start out on a mini tour and loop for free the first week. Work your way up to the Nationwide Tour. It's a HARD road starting out. Be prepared to be broke for a while

Brian (Chandler, AZ)

If you notice that your player has developed a swing variance mid-round that hasn't yet adversely affected his scoring (due to luck or whatever), do you tell him immediately and risk messing him up the rest of the way, wait until his scoring is affected, or wait until after the round?

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

depends how late in the round we are. Back nine with two to play and he's scoring, keep mouth very shut. Front nine and we're only thru 4 holes and it's getting shaky... "hey pro..."

Chris (Ga)

Thanks Doug

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

I love bringing people together. that's pretty cool

Shoshana (Boston)

Do the real top guys pay a high salary or do they still pay a 10%? I heard Lacava/Steve are guaranteed a mil for instance. Does Bones have some sort of arrangement? JP?

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

Never heard of the guarantee. but it was rumored in the past of a flat fee, never been verified. Most are on a weekly salary with a percentage deal for the finish.10-7-5 is standard, but I know many that are 10-8-6.10% for a win, 7% for a top ten, and %5 for everything else

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

Well I didn't realize how much I missed chatting with y'all til we got started. Thanks again for a fun hour.Remember if there's a question I didn't get to and it's killing you to know the answer... ESPNCaddie@gmail.comor @espncaddie on twittertalk to you next week... same time!